Shandong Mutton Restaurant in West San Jose
I found this completely by accident - I happened to roll through the plaza and spotted it. A quick check on CH revealed nothing, but y*lp showed that it's been open for about six months. Pictures of cute lambs on the menu sealed the deal.
Northern Chinese, obviously, with most of the menu comprised of lamb dishes, split between boiled/fried and soup/noodle based. There's also an appetizer section.
Father and daughter (I think) were busy behind the counter making lamb skewers, so I ordered a plate of those. They asked if I could handle spicy, and I said I'd try. Dad rushed into the back to work his magic, while daughter invited me to snap a pic of the uncooked skewers.
A while later four gorgeous skewers arrived, showered in spices, but not actually very spicy. I will need to be more assertive next time. But they were so well cooked I didn't care. Thoroughly tender on the inside, pink but not at all chewy, and nicely seared. I think this is going to be a regular order of mine. Several plates thereof.
I also ordered the lamb sesame bread and the lamb noodle soup. The bun did not have a lot of filling, and by itself was very dry and bland, but it made a perfect accompaniment to the soup, so I just pulled the two halves apart and dipped it. The soup started out a little mild in flavor, but as I mixed it and worked towards the bottom it got much richer. Noodles were somewhat chewy, but not in the same league as QQ/Shandong Oakland. I did not ask if they were hand pulled/cut. Little chunks of lamb sprinkled throughout.
They have ZJM on the menu too, but with all the lamb dishes it's going to be a while before I try it.
It's in that weird limbo between Cupertino and San Jose, in the Orchard Farms shopping center where the Safeway is. It's on the southern most end of the plaza, by the dance studio.
It's not very big. They can seat perhaps 20 people. I had a four-top to myself, but it was 4:30pm and I was the only customer. It's really pleasant inside, with the afternoon sun streaming through the windows.
Staff were really happy to see me and very helpful.
This dummy did not snap pics of the menu =.= Head on over to y*lp.
Shandong Mutton Restaurant
6184 Bollinger Rd, San Jose, CA 95129
re: Melanie Wong
It was very light because the kids weren't hungry. I had the lamb noodle soup. Very light, but flavorful. Wouldn't say it was overly gamy, but enough to keep me happy. The noodles were very broad, around 1 inch wide and relatively thin (lasagne thickness). Very good. My wife had the 3 god spicy soup. We love this at Korean restaurants and my general feel is Chinese restos don't do this well. However, this version was very enjoyable. And she got the thinner noodles, which I liked better - springy and the perfect shape - kind of like a thicker ramen (the more curly type). I believe I've also had dumplings there in the past but they apparently dont serve them anymore, even though they have them in the freezer out back.
On a totally separate note, I went to Cicero's pizza there for the first time. Apparently its a local institution. Have to say, I really enjoyed the cracker crust. One of the better renditions of this genre I've ever had.
Tried the country style lamb soup, cumin lamb, bok choy, + rice the other day.
The country style lamb soup is a fatty lamb broth with green onions. It's hearty and tasty. I must admit once it cooled down the oily, fatty textures of the broth and the meat got a little much for me.
The cumin lamb was spicy, with good quality lamb meet - very satisfying rendition.
Bok choy was well done, right amount of oil, good texture.
It was a solid meal, but a little pricey and rather far from us, so we probably won't add it to our regular rotation.
Looks like they're gone. There was a banner announcing the grand opening of Fuji Huoshao & Dumpling, but it wasn't open yet when we drove by.